The Matzav Shmoooze: Sheva Brachos Speeches…Over the Line


chosson_and kallahDear readers,

It has become customary to have a friend of the chosson speak at his aufruf or sheva brachos. Although I am not familiar with any real source for this “minhag,” when done correctly it can add significantly to the simcha.

Historically, this speech would feature one of the chosson‘s closest friends highlighting his most exemplary middos, discussing his tremendous commitment to Torah learning, and any other unique attributes that the chosson possesses. Perhaps the greatest achievement of this oratory presentation would be the positive feelings it instilled in the hearts of the parents of the kallah.

Unfortunately, this once praise-filled address has been transformed to what surmounts to, in modern day vernacular, a “roast.” Alas it is now viewed by many as an ideal opportunity to publicly poke fun at the chosson by exposing some of his less than glamorous traits and recounting embarrassing experiences – granted, with no malicious intent whatsoever.

Everybody enjoys a good laugh, but at what expense? How can we trade in such a precious opportunity to add confidence and assurance for our own comedic grandeur? It’s great to be funny; we just have to make sure not to cross the line.

There are countless other examples of jokes that shouldn’t be said, or topics that shouldn’t be broached, and it would be impossible to try to dictate guidelines as to what is and what isn’t appropriate to be shared at an aufruf.

The responsibility lies completely upon the speaker to use his own “seichel.” There is a dictum that says, “You can’t teach seichel.”

We must raise awareness of the possibly overlooked perspective of the impact these words can have on the future in-laws. I implore of all future aufruf and sheva brachos speakers, when choosing your precious words, be sensitive to the fact that in addition to the chosson and his parents being in the room, the parents of the kallah are also present and listening to your words, maybe even more carefully than you would like.

Rabbi F. C.


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. Since a chosson gets a Kaparah on all his Aviros I guess this is a part of the Viduy in order to affect Teshuvah (and honestly if the Chosson did not want he would pick the friend he wont do it

  2. The kallahs parents don’t listen to the friends remarks and it makes ZERO difference to them because they know that every choson is glorified and every choson is said to be the greatest learner at all times of the day and night and has such a heart of chesed and mommish is such an onov and has respect for everyone and once when… the choson immediately….. its unbelievabel (you fil in the dots.

    All these droshos should be eliminated. No one listens

  3. You make a very valid point. Conversely, what about the Sheva Brachos where every illuy wannabe pleples for 20 minutes on some shtick “Torah”. Very often it goes one for many speakers. Of course, there should be Torah, Divrey Bracha and even Divrey Hisoirirus at such a Simcha, but in this case it is very often “kol hamoisif goreiah”. Save the shiur klolli for the Bais Medrash.

  4. I couldn’t believe it when i heard this type of ‘roast’ I know it’s all meant in good fun – but it is NOT a good idea

  5. The Mechutonim should choose beforehand who should speak and if someone gets out of line he should be told so he doesent do it again, But the problem is that its very hard to find Ballie Seichel today

  6. I know of a story where the boy’s shver thought he (the shver) was being roasted. It was not a good matzav at all. Shver complained to the Darshan’s Rosh Yeshiva…messy.

  7. Isn’t the halacha that we’re not supposed to praise someone in front of him because it will lead the person to ga’avah? Why can we have all these speeches about how great the chosson and kallah are?

    I once spoke at a sheva brachos and said the following:
    You’ve all heard all these stories about the chosson and kallah. People will have you believe that they’re the best people in the world, who never did anything wrong, and are completely perfect in every way.
    Guess what? It’s not true. Nobody is perfect. Everyone has flaws, and everyone does things wrong sometimes. What makes a marriage great? That where the husband may be weak, the wife helps to strengthen him. Where the wife is weak, the husband helps her out. When two people, who have their flaws just like everyone else, can help each other, and hold each other up – that’s a good shidduch.

    I then gave a bracha that they should be able to strengthen each other until 120.

  8. I Was recently a kallah sitting at my own sheva brachos, to hear praise about my chasan really increased my awareness of how special he was. While the jokes were funny it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Just keep the jokes for the dorm! Let a kalla appreciate the speech too!

  9. If someone “roasts” the Choson and shames him in public; that’s not being a “friend.”

    That so-called “friend” is violating the laws of Shmiras HaLoshon and loses his share in Olam Haba.

    I don’t think that the Chofetz Chaim ZT”L would agree with him.

    If this is someone’s idea of “fun,” he’s going to be very unhappy after 120.

    Jews get together in a group for a Mitzvah, not to “have fun,” especially at someone else’s expense.


  10. I was at my future aidems aufruf,when a “friend” of his got up to speak it was totally unacceptable speech and a terribly humiliating experience for both myself and the chossons family ..
    I did complain to the chossons rabbeim one of whom was kind enough to send me the above article….I truly dont know where the seichal of this yeshiva bochur was …he may learn his sedorim with hasmada but a ben torah he is not…..,please pass this article to potential speakers … if it helps stop one persion from embarresment that alone is a great thing …to all the bochurim who are asked to speak remember you can represent kovod hatorah to all of us who are no longer in yeshiva… or you can make a chilul hashem chas vshalom please dont blow it!…. may hashem grant us the zechus that the foolish people who are asked to speak will merit syata dishmaya to protect there mouths from foolish and hurtful comments


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